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Snowflake
05-06-2020 at 05:05 PM
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Was Q*Bert easy in the 80s?

Thanks to Garrett I believe i finally i can finally marathon any port of q*bert -- though i have no desire for the record. To me mastering q*bert is just a check list thing. I remember though mruczek saying he had more q*bert marathon submissions than he wanted to watch. It seems quite a few of my facebook friends can do it. So it got me wondering, is it just easy years later because of a lifetime and gaming and swapping notes, as opposed to back then when video game brains werent developed yet and games were new? or was it always easy? and by easy mind you, i just mean common to find someone who mastered it. there was definitley one hold up i had that made me quit, so i feel odd calling it easy, i just mean that it seems theres no shortage of people who can learn to master it in really short time

so people from the time period? was it common to master q*bert in the 80s? or was this something that took a few decades to kick in?

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  1. GregDeg's Avatar

    It took about a week for me to master it back in 1983. Level 2 board 4 is probably the toughest it gets. After that it’s a matter of practice. If you know a winning strategy then yes… it’s easy. My PR is 8 million (16 hours).

  2. Snowflake's Avatar

    level 2?

  3. Rogerpoco's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by GregDeg

    It took about a week for me to master it back in 1983. Level 2 board 4 is probably the toughest it gets. After that it’s a matter of practice. If you know a winning strategy then yes… it’s easy. My PR is 8 million (16 hours).


    Hold my Beer!!!

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  4. GregDeg's Avatar

    Level 2 board 4 has a black background. It has fewer discs than any other board which makes it difficult to get thru without losing a life or two. For me that was the toughest the game ever got. Level 5 is the same as 6, 7, 8, and 9. The difficulty level never increases after that. It just takes practice and the right strategy. I played it so much back in the 80s I could predict exactly when the green guy (Sam) would appear.

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  5. Snowflake's Avatar

    oh damn, i've been treating stuff like sam's appearance as random. i'm gonna guess any memorization there doenst carry over to ports, so i guess i'm not too concerned i dont know it, but very impressive none the less. its cool to know thats possible.

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  6. RTM's Avatar

    Amusingly the best "Q*Bert" player that I knew back in the day said he mastered "Q*Bert's Cubes" in just a couple of tries, of course benefiting from having general "Q*Bert" skills when the sequel was released. In comparison the original title took a bit longer to get used to as there were no skill-set equivalents back then, so it wasn't like a title where general platform or shooting skills from a previously released title could transition into an easy learning curve for "Q*Bert".

    Once you pretty much figured out your general "starting pattern", adjusting for wherever the balls trail down, the rest came down to getting a feel for when the green "freeze" balls would come out and between that, and learning to use the disks effectively, it wasn't long before you got the hang of it.

    Most proprietors had the game set the same way in NYC so at ** then 14K for the extras it was relatively easy to "bank" a good reserve after you learned how to handle level 5 without dying. Dealing with levels 6 and beyond were not a huge increase in difficulty compared to some titles, so the moment you could complete level 5 without dying you were just a few games away from your first level 9 completion and beyond.

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  7. Snowflake's Avatar

    qubes skill is honestly more like rubics cube skills than original qbert skill. qubes invovles understanding things like on a cube only opposite faces matter since any adjacent faces are just point of view and position can be rotated. also how the edge cubes work where fixing one can break another is reminscient to rubics qube in that trying to solve one face at a time, the way most people think doesn work and instead you have to partially solve everything all at once and move through phases

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  8. Snowflake's Avatar

    this is leading up to a follow up though, if it was that common to have people so good at it, did arcade owners start getting rid of the machine long before it lost popularity? usually owners dont like people playing too long on one quarter

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  9. Blackflag82's Avatar

    I agree with folks sentiments above...not terribly hard to master once you get a rough pattern.

    Re: arcades - I was talking to one of the owners of Barcade once about Q-bert and asked him a similar question. He said Q-bert was actually one of their highest earning machines. We talked about it a bit, and basically he said people go up and they spend about $1 figuring out how to play (or remembering), then they'll spend another $1 or $2 working to get past an arbitrary level, then they'll move onto another game. Their games normally last about 3-5 minutes, so most folks will drop a couple bucks in the game in under 20 minutes. I wouldn't be surprised if it was similar in arcades in the 80's and the number of casual players would more than offset the occasional marathoner.





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  10. Snowflake's Avatar

    ah gotchya, that makes sense. i disproportionately weight the competitive gamers. but sure, even if 100x the normal people (normal meaning normal number of marathoners for other games) can marathon it, 100x almost 0 is still almost zero.

    whats weird though, and maybe this is rumor, is i heard the revision for some of the joust revised roms is because people were taking too long at the arcade and owners complained. in particluar pterodactyl hunting had to be programmed out. is that rumor wrong? if the rumors wrong, then why the effort for programmers to make such minor changes? if the rumor si right, then why is it worth the change on joust but not qbert?

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    Updated 05-07-2020 at 09:27 AM by Snowflake
  11. Barthax's Avatar

    I'm pretty sure the regulars at TG talk a different mindset on this site than we'll experience with non-TG gamers. Many times I'll discuss games with others and they'll state they've been able to "complete" a game but everyone's idea of complete is subjective and many won't consider going back to a game after they've achieved their version of complete. People I've spoken to have said things like having "completed" Space Invaders in the arcade so reading the above about people moving to & from Q*Bert seems the same base mindset.

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  12. RTM's Avatar

    Just curious...in my sole reply above I wrote the number 8 followed by a K and it got censored with two asterisks ?

    Any idea what is so offensive about the first bonus threshold on "Q*Bert" to the built-in forum censor ?

  13. Snowflake's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by RTM

    Just curious...in my sole reply above I wrote the number 8 followed by a K and it got censored with two asterisks ?

    Any idea what is so offensive about the first bonus threshold on "Q*Bert" to the built-in forum censor ?

    no idea, any google search for ** just pulls up TVs. Maybe some cool young person gang lingo? gotta ask mrs franny @SincerelyFranny

  14. SincerelyFranny's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowflake
    Quote Originally Posted by RTM
    Just curious...in my sole reply above I wrote the number 8 followed by a K and it got censored with two asterisks ?Any idea what is so offensive about the first bonus threshold on "Q*Bert" to the built-in forum censor ?
    no idea, any google search for ** just pulls up TVs. Maybe some cool young person gang lingo? gotta ask mrs franny @SincerelyFranny
    Nooooo idea
  15. SincerelyFranny's Avatar

    I removed 8k from the censored word list. That was a weird addition.

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  16. datagod's Avatar

    Can you send me the censored word list?

    I love how cheap used to get censored.

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  17. Snowflake's Avatar

    haha i was thinking the same thing but didnt make the request as i figured it was an obvoius 'no'. but heck now that you asked, if you get to see it i wanna see it too

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  18. Garrett Holland's Avatar

    I say seize the day, and just post the list .... RIGHT ... FRIGGIN ... HERE. LOL!

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  19. thegamer1185's Avatar

    "Was Q'Bert easy in the 80's"

    IDK, but my wife was in the 2010's!! Ba-Boom!!

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